Is Fascism Right?
Is Fascism Right?
If by right you mean correct, that's easy. Answer: NO.
If by right you mean coming from the right-wing of the political spectrum, that’s a more complex question.
That fascism is an extreme form of right-wing politics is assumed. That’s what we’ve been taught since the OF, Benito Mussolini, popularized the term. But, is it correct? Or meaningful in the 21st Century?
Here’s an oversimplification of how fascism got to be considered right-wing: though coming from similar roots, fascism became a competing ideology with communism in early 20th century Europe. Communism was considered left and, in part because fascism was its rival (originally in Italy and later in Germany), it got tagged right.* There’s more to it, but rather than diving further into etymology and other history, let’s quickly analyze fascism – and compare it to the modern right and left.
Fascism is militaristic, nationalistic, socialist and totalitarian.
In the United States, patriotism and a strong military is associated with the right. But modern US conservatives don't advocate US expansion through force. Military preparedness and national culture in the US are for self-preservation, not aggression. Ronald Reagan invested in the US military to win the Cold War, but never took an inch of foreign soil. Never wanted to.
Viewed fairly, that is the opposite of the Axis Powers’ attempts at conquest (side question: as former (?) communist Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine, is he right or left?)
Obviously, the Left is all about socialism. They win that criteria easily.
So, heading into the all-important final round, the score is (kind of) 2-1. Except, the supposed militarism and nationalism of the right don’t mean anything today. Essentially no conservatives are trying to get the US to take over the world for ‘Merica. It’s not a thing. Initial response to the Ukraine crisis shows many in the modern right are actually isolationist.
The modern right is also much closer to libertarian than totalitarian (which, btw, is another term popularized by the Original Fascist).
The fascist definition of totalitarianism was simply “everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State," which could easily be mistaken for the Democratic Party platform. As with socialism, the Left easily wins that one.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “You ignored racism.”
Good point. I left it out, because I couldn't verify it as a key part of Mussolini’s original take. But, obviously (at least to everyone but Whoopi Goldberg), it was integral to Hitler’s Nazism. Fair enough. Using a real definition of racism, the Left "wins" again. They are the side of Balkanization by race. They are the side of indoctrinating young children (in state-run schools) to obsess over race. They are the ones insisting we discriminate based on race. Conservatives are excoriated for saying America should strive to be “colorblind,” meaning striving to ignore race - which is the opposite of racism, rationally defined.
So, is Fascism right? Again, the answer is NO.
If you don’t believe me, talk to a Canadian trucker.
* Note: if you want a much more thorough discussion of Fascism's past and potential future, as well as a thought-provoking understanding of the roots of Progressivism, read Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.